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March 2010 Top Stories


MESSENGER's Odometer Reading: Four Billion Miles! »» MESSENGER's Odometer Reading: Four Billion Miles!

[Monday, March 1, 2010] Today the MESSENGER spacecraft crossed the four-billion-mile mark since its launch. The probe has completed about 81 percent of its journey toward its destination to be the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury.

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Mars Express heading for closest flyby of Phobos »» Mars Express heading for closest flyby of Phobos

[Monday, March 1, 2010] ESA's Mars Express will skim the surface of Mars' largest moon Phobos on Wednesday evening. Passing by at an altitude of 67 km, precise radio tracking will allow researchers to peer inside the mysterious moon.

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Astronomically Large Lenses Measure the Age and Size of the Universe »» Astronomically Large Lenses Measure the Age and Size of the Universe

[Monday, March 1, 2010] Using entire galaxies as lenses to look at other galaxies, researchers have a newly precise way to measure the size and age of the universe and how rapidly it is expanding, on par with other techniques.

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Penn State Tiny shelled creatures shed light on extinction and recovery 65 million years ago »» Penn State Tiny shelled creatures shed light on extinction and recovery 65 million years ago

[Monday, March 1, 2010] An asteroid strike may not only account for the demise of ocean and land life 65 million years ago, but may explain the geographic unevenness of extinctions and recovery, according to Penn State geoscientists.

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NASA Announces Agency Center Management Changes »» NASA Announces Agency Center Management Changes

[Monday, March 1, 2010] Administrator Bolden announced leadership changes involving three field centers, including NASA's Stennis Space Center, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The changes are effective immediately.

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NASA Radar Finds Ice Deposits at Moon's North Pole; Additional Evidence of Water Activity on Moon »» NASA Radar Finds Ice Deposits at Moon's North Pole; Additional Evidence of Water Activity on Moon

[Monday, March 1, 2010] Using data from a NASA radar that flew aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, scientists have detected ice deposits near the moon's north pole.

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Book Review: My Dream of Stars »» Book Review: My Dream of Stars

[Monday, March 1, 2010] I have been reading books about space since, well, since I learned how to read.But until now I had not read a story of someone who aspired to touch the stars from the midst of revolution-racked Iran.

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Radar Map of Buried Martian Ice Adds to Climate Record »» Radar Map of Buried Martian Ice Adds to Climate Record

[Tuesday, March 2, 2010] Extensive radar mapping of the middle-latitude region of northern Mars shows that thick masses of buried ice are quite common beneath protective coverings of rubble.

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Webb Telescope's first primary mirror meets cold temperature specifications, sets program landmark »» Webb Telescope's first primary mirror meets cold temperature specifications, sets program landmark

[Tuesday, March 2, 2010] The James Webb Space Telescope reached a mission-readiness landmark today when its first primary mirror segment was cryo-polished to its required prescription as measured at operational cryogenic temperatures.

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NASA's Fermi probes 'dragons' of the gamma-ray sky »» NASA's Fermi probes 'dragons' of the gamma-ray sky

[Tuesday, March 2, 2010] A new study of the ever-present fog of gamma rays from sources outside our galaxy shows that less than a third of the emission arises from what astronomers once considered the most likely suspects -- black-hole-powered jets from active galaxies.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Commends New Mexico for Passage of Key Liability Legislation »» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Commends New Mexico for Passage of Key Liability Legislation

[Tuesday, March 2, 2010] On Saturday, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed into law the "New Mexico Space Flight Informed Consent Act," following similar legislation already passed in Virginia and Florida.

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Hutchison Introduces Bill to Close Gap in U.S. Spaceflight »» Hutchison Introduces Bill to Close Gap in U.S. Spaceflight

[Wednesday, March 3, 2010] Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) today introduced legislation to close the gap in U.S. human space flight that will occur if the space shuttle is retired before the next generation of space vehicle is developed.

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NASA's International Space Station Program Wins Collier Trophy »» NASA's International Space Station Program Wins Collier Trophy

[Wednesday, March 3, 2010] NASA's International Space Station Program has won the 2009 Collier Trophy, which is considered the top award in aviation.

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NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Speeds Past Data Milestone »» NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Speeds Past Data Milestone

[Wednesday, March 3, 2010] NASA's newest Mars orbiter, completing its fourth year at the Red Planet next week, has just passed a data-volume milestone unimaginable a generation ago and still difficult to fathom: 100 terabits.

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The Cosmic Bat: An Island of Stars in the Making on the Outskirts of Orion »» The Cosmic Bat: An Island of Stars in the Making on the Outskirts of Orion

[Wednesday, March 3, 2010] The delicate nebula NGC 1788, located in a dark and often neglected corner of the Orion constellation, is revealed in a new and finely nuanced image that ESO is releasing today.

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Long-term Degradation of Optical Devices on the Moon »» Long-term Degradation of Optical Devices on the Moon

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] Forty years ago, Apollo astronauts placed the first of several retroreflector arrays on the lunar surface. Their continued usefulness for laser-ranging might suggest that the lunar environment does not damage optical devices

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Phobos Flyby Success »» Phobos Flyby Success

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] Mars Express encountered Phobos last night, skimming past at just 67 km, the closest any manmade object has ever approached Mars' enigmatic moon. The data collected could help unlock the origin of not just Phobos but other 'second generation' moons.

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TerraSAR-X image of the month: The International Space Station »» TerraSAR-X image of the month: The International Space Station

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] On 13 March 2008, the International Space Station passed across the field-of-view of Germany's remote sensing satellite, TerraSAR-X, at a distance of 195 kilometres (122 miles) and at a relative speed of 34,540 kilometres per hour (over 22,000 mph).

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NASA JSC Memo: Commercial-Crew Vehicle Transition Concepts 1 March 2010 »» NASA JSC Memo: Commercial-Crew Vehicle Transition Concepts 1 March 2010

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] The following paper provides recommendations for the transition to a commercial-crew vehicle to the ISS which leverages the experience gained in the operation of the Space Shuttle, the ISS, and in the design of Constellation.

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NASA Internal Email from JSC Center Director Mike Coats: Plan B team »» NASA Internal Email from JSC Center Director Mike Coats: Plan B team

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] "Steve Robert and I talked to Charlie and he agreed to let us set up a “Plan B” team (my term, since Chairman Gordon asked Charlie about his “plan B” at the hearing) to look at what a potential compromise might look like."

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Florida Congressional Delegation Letter to President Obama Regarding NASA FY 2011 Budget »» Florida Congressional Delegation Letter to President Obama Regarding NASA FY 2011 Budget

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] As members of the Florida congressional delegation, we write to express deep concerns with the Administration's FY 2011 budget request as it relates to the future of America's space program.

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Mars Dunes: On The move? »» Mars Dunes: On The move?

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] New studies of ripples and dunes shaped by the winds on Mars testify to variability on that planet, identifying at least one place where ripples are actively migrating and another where the ripples have been stationary for 100,000 years or more.

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NASA Readies for Spring 2010 Ice Bridge Campaign »» NASA Readies for Spring 2010 Ice Bridge Campaign

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] The project team is finalizing flight paths over Greenland's ice sheet and surrounding sea ice, where scientists will collect measurements, maps and images from a suite of airborne instruments.

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Lava Likely Made River-like Channel on Mars »» Lava Likely Made River-like Channel on Mars

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] Flowing lava can carve or build paths very much like the riverbeds and canyons etched by water, and this probably explains at least one of the meandering channels on the surface of Mars.

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Biggest, Deepest Crater Exposes Hidden, Ancient Moon »» Biggest, Deepest Crater Exposes Hidden, Ancient Moon

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] Shortly after the Moon formed, an asteroid smacked into its southern hemisphere and gouged out a truly enormous crater, the South Pole-Aitken basin, almost 1,500 miles across and more than five miles deep.

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Apollo 17 Astronaut Honored by National Engineering Society »» Apollo 17 Astronaut Honored by National Engineering Society

[Thursday, March 4, 2010] The American Society of Civil Engineers will award Harrison Schmitt with the inaugural Columbia Medal, which recognizes individuals who have made significant advances in the fields of aerospace engineering, science and technology.

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NASA Administrator Reaffirms Support for 2011 Budget »» NASA Administrator Reaffirms Support for 2011 Budget

[Friday, March 5, 2010] I'm open to hearing ideas from any member of the NASA team, but I did not ask anybody for an alternative to the President's plan and budget.

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NASA and NOAA's GOES-P Satellite Successfully Launched »» NASA and NOAA's GOES-P Satellite Successfully Launched

[Friday, March 5, 2010] The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-P, lifted off Thursday aboard a Delta IV rocket at 6:57 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

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Scientists find signs of 'snowball Earth' amidst early animal evolution »» Scientists find signs of 'snowball Earth' amidst early animal evolution

[Friday, March 5, 2010] Geologists have found evidence that sea ice extended to the equator 716.5 million years ago, bringing new precision to a "snowball Earth" event long suspected to have taken place around that time.

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First of missing primitive stars discovered »» First of missing primitive stars discovered

[Friday, March 5, 2010] Astronomers have discovered a relic from the early universe - a star that may have been among the second generation of stars to form after the Big Bang.

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NASA Internal memo: Message from the Administrator - March 5, 2010 »» NASA Internal memo: Message from the Administrator - March 5, 2010

[Friday, March 5, 2010] I advised the President on our budget for FY11 and it is MY budget. I have not asked anyone to develop an alternative to that budget and plan, and I don't want anybody to do so.

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President Obama to Host Space Conference in Florida in April »» President Obama to Host Space Conference in Florida in April

[Sunday, March 7, 2010] On April 15, President Barack Obama will visit Florida to host a White House Conference on the Administration's new vision for America's future in space, the White House today announced.

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Is That Saturn's Moon Titan or Utah? »» Is That Saturn's Moon Titan or Utah?

[Sunday, March 7, 2010] Planetary scientists have been puzzling for years over the honeycomb patterns and flat valleys with squiggly edges evident in radar images of Saturn's moon Titan.

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Herschel Finds Possible Life-Enabling Molecules in Space »» Herschel Finds Possible Life-Enabling Molecules in Space

[Sunday, March 7, 2010] The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed the chemical fingerprints of potentially life-enabling organic molecules in the Orion nebula, a nearby stellar nursery in our Milky Way galaxy.

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New investment fund backs space technologies finding uses on Earth »» New investment fund backs space technologies finding uses on Earth

[Monday, March 8, 2010] The Open Sky Technologies Fund (OSTF) is an early-stage venture capital fund aimed at nurturing the most promising business opportunities arising from space technologies and satellite applications for terrestrial industries.

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Static testing of L110 liquid core stage of GSLV- MkIII launch vehicle conducted »» Static testing of L110 liquid core stage of GSLV- MkIII launch vehicle conducted

[Monday, March 8, 2010] ISRO conducted the static test of its liquid core stage (L110) of GSLV Mk III launch vehicle, for 150 seconds at its Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) test facility at Mahendragiri at 16:00 hrs on March 5, 2010.

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World Premiere of Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission Planned for SXSW Film Festival »» World Premiere of Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission Planned for SXSW Film Festival

[Monday, March 8, 2010] An historic 12-day journey to space by legendary game developer and space explorer Richard Garriott will have its world premiere at this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin.

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NASA Hosts First-Ever Water Sustainability Forum March 16-18 »» NASA Hosts First-Ever Water Sustainability Forum March 16-18

[Monday, March 8, 2010] NASA today announced its founding partnership of Launch, an initiative to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to sustainability challenges through a series of forums.

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Historic Deep Space Network Antenna Starts Major Surgery »» Historic Deep Space Network Antenna Starts Major Surgery

[Monday, March 8, 2010] Like a hard-driving athlete whose joints need help, the giant "Mars antenna" at NASA's Deep Space Network site in Goldstone, Calif. has begun major, delicate surgery.

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Mars Rover Spirit Update: Winter Preparations Nearly Complete »» Mars Rover Spirit Update: Winter Preparations Nearly Complete

[Monday, March 8, 2010] Spirit is in her winter position, still embedded in the area called "Troy" on the west side of Home Plate.

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Revisiting chicxulub: A broad look at the evidence for a dinosaur-killing impact »» Revisiting chicxulub: A broad look at the evidence for a dinosaur-killing impact

[Monday, March 8, 2010] One factor that is not in dispute: the end of the Cretaceous 65.5 million years ago was marked by one of the most devastating extinctions our planet has faced.

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Student Teams Ready to Battle Lunar Terrain at NASA's 17th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race »» Student Teams Ready to Battle Lunar Terrain at NASA's 17th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

[Monday, March 8, 2010] More than 100 student teams from around the globe will drive their specially crafted lunar rovers through a challenging course of rugged, moon-like terrain at NASA's 17th annual Great Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville, Ala., April 9-10.

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Dome Away From Home »» Dome Away From Home

[Wednesday, March 10, 2010] After more than three decades of service to researchers and staff stationed at the bottom of the world, the dome at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was deconstructed this austral summer.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Static Fire Update 9 March 2010 »» SpaceX Falcon 9 Static Fire Update 9 March 2010

[Wednesday, March 10, 2010] On March 9 SpaceX performed our first Static Fire for the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. We counted down to an T-2 seconds and aborted on Spin Start.

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Kosmas and Posey Introduce Bill to Minimize Human Spaceflight Gap »» Kosmas and Posey Introduce Bill to Minimize Human Spaceflight Gap

[Wednesday, March 10, 2010] Today, Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) and Congressman Bill Posey (FL-15) introduced legislation to maintain a robust human spaceflight program, minimize the spaceflight gap, and protect Space Coast jobs.

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Nimbus II and Lunar Orbiter 1 Imagery: A New Look at Earth in 1966 »» Nimbus II and Lunar Orbiter 1 Imagery: A New Look at Earth in 1966

[Wednesday, March 10, 2010] As the images were enhanced and dropped into Google Earth it became clear that we have imagery that overlapped in time to show the weather on that late August day as evening crept up on Africa and Europe.

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Dumpster Diving for Science »» Dumpster Diving for Science

[Thursday, March 11, 2010] Last month, researchers working out of an abandoned McDonald's restaurant on the grounds of NASA Ames Research Center recovered data collected by NASA's Nimbus II satellite on 23 September 1966.

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Cassini Data Show Ice and Rock Mixture Inside Titan »» Cassini Data Show Ice and Rock Mixture Inside Titan

[Thursday, March 11, 2010] By precisely tracking NASA's Cassini spacecraft on its low swoops over Saturn's moon Titan, scientists have determined the distribution of materials in the moon's interior.

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Heads of Agency International Space Station Joint Statement »» Heads of Agency International Space Station Joint Statement

[Thursday, March 11, 2010] The heads of the International Space Station (ISS) agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia, and the United States met in Tokyo, Japan, on March 11, 2010, to review ISS cooperation.

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Zero Gravity Corporation Establishes The Zero-G Weightless Lab »» Zero Gravity Corporation Establishes The Zero-G Weightless Lab

[Thursday, March 11, 2010] Today, Zero Gravity Corporation announced the establishment of the ZERO-G WEIGHTLESS LAB. The specially designed two-day program provides the only commercial access to Martian, Lunar, zero and hyper gravity environments for scientific research.

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NASA Offers 'Fast' Opportunities for Zero-G Technology Testing »» NASA Offers 'Fast' Opportunities for Zero-G Technology Testing

[Thursday, March 11, 2010] NASA has announced opportunities to test emerging technologies during flights on an airplane that simulates the weightless conditions of space.

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Leicester physicists part of team studying impact of solar wind on Mars atmosphere »» Leicester physicists part of team studying impact of solar wind on Mars atmosphere

[Friday, March 12, 2010] Space physicists from the University of Leicester are part of an international team that has identified the impact of the Sun on Mars' atmosphere.

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Shocking recipe for making killer electrons »» Shocking recipe for making killer electrons

[Friday, March 12, 2010] Take a bunch of fast-moving electrons, place them in orbit and then hit them with the shock waves from a solar storm. What do you get? Killer electrons. That's the shocking recipe revealed by ESA's Cluster mission.

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Media opportunity: ESA presents European participants in 520-day simulated mission to Mars »» Media opportunity: ESA presents European participants in 520-day simulated mission to Mars

[Friday, March 12, 2010] A crew of six, including two Europeans, will soon begin a simulated mission to Mars in a mockup that includes an interplanetary spaceship, a Mars lander and a martian landscape.

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Speech by NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver - Women In Aerospace Breakfast March 4, 2010 »» Speech by NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver - Women In Aerospace Breakfast March 4, 2010

[Friday, March 12, 2010] I believe that the budget for NASA, proposed by President Obama for 2011 will help us reach not only that goal of having many more women working in our field, but will help us reach many other goals as well. Allow me to explain.

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Space Florida Secures Licenses for Launch Complexes 46 and 36 »» Space Florida Secures Licenses for Launch Complexes 46 and 36

[Friday, March 12, 2010] Space Florida is pleased to announce that it has secured Real Property Licenses for Space Launch Complexes 46 and 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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NASA IceBite Blog: University Valley »» NASA IceBite Blog: University Valley

[Saturday, March 13, 2010] Back in McMurdo after a productive and fun week at Lake Joyce, now we have only 2 days to get everything organized and packed for our second field site: University Valley.

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Bigelow Aerospace Position Opening: Astronaut »» Bigelow Aerospace Position Opening: Astronaut

[Saturday, March 13, 2010] Bigelow Aerospace seeks professional astronauts to fill permanent positions. Applicants need to have completed a training program from their government or recognized space agency and have at least some flight experience on a recognized space mission.

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SpaceX Successfully Completes Test Firing of Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle »» SpaceX Successfully Completes Test Firing of Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle

[Saturday, March 13, 2010] Today, SpaceX successfully completed a test firing of the inaugural Falcon 9 launch vehicle at Space Launch Complex 40 located at Cape Canaveral.

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New Lunar Images and Data Available to the Public »» New Lunar Images and Data Available to the Public

[Monday, March 15, 2010] The public can follow along with NASA on its journey of lunar discovery. On March 15, the publicly accessible Planetary Data System will release data sets from the seven instruments on board NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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Aderholt Asks GAO To Investigate NASA's Constellation Activities for Possible Illegal Activity »» Aderholt Asks GAO To Investigate NASA's Constellation Activities for Possible Illegal Activity

[Monday, March 15, 2010] Rep. Aderholt wrote a letter to the Government Accountability Office asking for an investigation into whether NASA's actions regarding the Constellation program, as well as the extent to which it is working on a new, unauthorized plan, violates law.

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»» "Revenge of the Nerds" meets "American Idol" - Help Select the top high school innovators!

[Monday, March 15, 2010] Help 25 of the top high school innovators design the future! On March 29th, the Spirit of Innovation Awards challenges YOU to vote for your favorite teams and help select this year's "Pete Conrad Scholars!"

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Remarks by NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. Washington Space Business Roundtable, Satellite 2010 Conference »» Remarks by NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. Washington Space Business Roundtable, Satellite 2010 Conference

[Tuesday, March 16, 2010] My first message to you is that this budget is good for NASA because it sets the agency on a sustainable path that is tightly linked to our nation's interests.

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Technology Journey -- Materials Science from Space to Earth »» Technology Journey -- Materials Science from Space to Earth

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] The first American research sample processed in the International Space Station's Materials Science Laboratory was opened for study today at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

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Third ATV named after Edoardo Amaldi »» Third ATV named after Edoardo Amaldi

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] Production of the Automated Transfer Vehicles is gearing up. After the flawless flight of the first ATV, Jules Verne, the second, Johannes Kepler, is being completed for launch later this year.

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Jupiter's spot seen glowing »» Jupiter's spot seen glowing

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] The observations reveal that the reddest colour of the Great Red Spot corresponds to a warm core within the otherwise cold storm system, and images show dark lanes at the edge of the storm where gases are descending into the deeper regions of the planet.

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Western researcher solves 37-year old space mystery »» Western researcher solves 37-year old space mystery

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] A researcher from The University of Western Ontario has helped solve a 37-year old space mystery using lunar images released yesterday by NASA and maps from his own atlas of the moon.

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Planck Mission Images Galactic Web of Cold Dust »» Planck Mission Images Galactic Web of Cold Dust

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] Tendrils of the coldest stuff in our galaxy can be seen in a new, large image from Planck, a mission surveying the whole sky to learn more about the birth of our universe.

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New Hubble Treasury Project to Survey First Third of Cosmic Time »» New Hubble Treasury Project to Survey First Third of Cosmic Time

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] Astronomers will peer deep into the universe in five directions to document the early history of star formation and galaxy evolution in an ambitious new project requiring an unprecedented amount of time on the Hubble Space Telescope.

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International Team of Scientists Reports Discovery of a New Planet »» International Team of Scientists Reports Discovery of a New Planet

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] An international team of scientists, including several who are affiliated with UC Santa Barbara, has discovered a new planet the size of Jupiter.

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New Uses for an Old Titan 1 »» New Uses for an Old Titan 1

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] As the current plan goes, the move of an aging Titan 1 ICBM from its current location at NASA ARC to its new home next to Building 596 starts around 7:30 AM PST on 18 March 2010.

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Catastrophic Event' Halted Star Birth in Early  Galaxy »» Catastrophic Event' Halted Star Birth in Early Galaxy

[Wednesday, March 17, 2010] Scientists have found evidence of a catastrophic event they believe was responsible for halting the birth of stars in a galaxy in the early Universe. They report their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Soyuz Landing Caps Milestone Space Station Mission »» Soyuz Landing Caps Milestone Space Station Mission

[Thursday, March 18, 2010] Expedition 22 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Max Suraev landed their Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft on the steppes of Kazakhstan Thursday, wrapping up a five-and-a-half-month stay aboard the International Space Station.

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NASA Ames' Education Day Features a Multiverse of Learning »» NASA Ames' Education Day Features a Multiverse of Learning

[Thursday, March 18, 2010] NASA's Ames Research Center will host its first Education Day in conjunction with Yuri's Night from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 9, 2010. School children from grades 4-12 will be invited to participate in this free learning event.

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Cassini Shows Saturnian Roller Derby, Strange Weather »» Cassini Shows Saturnian Roller Derby, Strange Weather

[Thursday, March 18, 2010] From our vantage point on Earth, Saturn may look like a peaceful orb with rings worthy of a carefully raked Zen garden, but NASA's Cassini spacecraft has been shadowing the gas giant long enough to see that the rings are a rough and tumble roller derby.

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University of Arizona astronomers discover most primitive supermassive black holes known »» University of Arizona astronomers discover most primitive supermassive black holes known

[Thursday, March 18, 2010] Astronomers have come across what appear to be two of the earliest and most primitive supermassive black holes known.

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Star factories in the distant Universe »» Star factories in the distant Universe

[Monday, March 22, 2010] For the first time, astronomers have made direct measurements of the size and brightness of regions of star-birth in a very distant galaxy, thanks to a chance discovery with the APEX telescope.

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Astronomers get sharpest view ever of star factories in distant universe »» Astronomers get sharpest view ever of star factories in distant universe

[Monday, March 22, 2010] For the first time, astronomers have made direct measurements of the size and brightness of regions of star-birth in a very distant galaxy, thanks to a chance discovery with the APEX telescope.

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Supermassive Black Holes: Hinting at the Nature of Dark Matter? »» Supermassive Black Holes: Hinting at the Nature of Dark Matter?

[Monday, March 22, 2010] About 23% of the Universe is made up of mysterious 'dark matter', invisible material only detected through its gravitational influence on its surroundings.

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Helium Rain on Jupiter Explains Lack of Neon in Atmosphere »» Helium Rain on Jupiter Explains Lack of Neon in Atmosphere

[Monday, March 22, 2010] On Earth, helium is a gas used to float balloons. In the interior of Jupiter, however, conditions are so strange that, according to predictions by University of California, Berkeley, scientists, helium condenses into droplets and falls like rain.

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First Captive Carry Flight for Virgin's »» First Captive Carry Flight for Virgin's "Enterprise"

[Monday, March 22, 2010] VSS Enterprise completes her first captive carry... Virgin Galactic announced today that VSS Enterprise has completed her inaugural captive carry flight from Mojave Air and Spaceport.

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ESA Highlights Online Games as Key Future Technology »» ESA Highlights Online Games as Key Future Technology

[Tuesday, March 23, 2010] Video gaming has become one of the globe's most popular pastimes. Fans say games are often educational, their detractors answer they are anything but. Might ESA have something to learn from gaming? A new Agency study says the answer is yes.

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Mars500: To Mars and Back »» Mars500: To Mars and Back

[Tuesday, March 23, 2010] A crew of six, including two Europeans, will soon begin a simulated mission to Mars in a mockup that includes an interplanetary spaceship, Mars lander and martian landscape.

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ISS awarded prestigious aerospace prizes »» ISS awarded prestigious aerospace prizes

[Tuesday, March 23, 2010] The International Space Station has won two prizes as the greatest international space project of all time. Aviation Week's Laureate Award and the Collier Trophy are two of the most prestigious awards in the aerospace realm.

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Software Upgrade for Mars Rover Opportunity »» Software Upgrade for Mars Rover Opportunity

[Tuesday, March 23, 2010] NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, now in its seventh year on Mars, has a new capability to make its own choices about whether to make additional observations of rocks that it spots on arrival at a new location.

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Remarks by NASA Deputy Administrator Lori B. Garver at the American Astronautical Society's 48th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium »» Remarks by NASA Deputy Administrator Lori B. Garver at the American Astronautical Society's 48th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium

[Wednesday, March 24, 2010] The President's budget, should it be approved by Congress, will enable NASA to align with the priorities of the Nation and to more optimally contribute to our Nation's future.

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Prepared Statement  by NASA Administrator Statement of Charles F. Bolden before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations »» Prepared Statement by NASA Administrator Statement of Charles F. Bolden before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations

[Wednesday, March 24, 2010] Before I discuss the details of the NASA budget request, I would like to talk in general about the President's new course for human exploration of space. With this budget, the United States has positioned itself to continue our space leadership for years

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Mars Rover Examines Odd Material at Small, Young Crater »» Mars Rover Examines Odd Material at Small, Young Crater

[Wednesday, March 24, 2010] Weird coatings on rocks beside a young Martian crater remain puzzling after a preliminary look at data from examination of the site by NASA's Opportunity rover.

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Dale Andersen: Progress Report from Mars »» Dale Andersen: Progress Report from Mars

[Wednesday, March 24, 2010] So why does Dale take part in research and exploration missions to the Arctic and Antarctica? Two reasons.

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Space Operations Award Going to Mars Rover Team »» Space Operations Award Going to Mars Rover Team

[Thursday, March 25, 2010] The team that operates NASA's Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity will receive the 2010 International Space Ops Award for Outstanding Achievement.

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NASA Chooses Student Teams to Test Experiments on Balloonsat »» NASA Chooses Student Teams to Test Experiments on Balloonsat

[Thursday, March 25, 2010] NASA selected four high school teams as finalists in the Balloonsat High Altitude Flight competition. Their experiments will be the payload aboard a NASA weather balloon that will launch May 25-27.

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Hubble confirms cosmic acceleration with distorted galaxies »» Hubble confirms cosmic acceleration with distorted galaxies

[Thursday, March 25, 2010] A comprehensive analysis of distorted galaxies from the most ambitious cosmic survey ever undertaken by the Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed the mysterious cosmic acceleration. It has also provided the equivalent of a 3D map of part of the Universe.

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UK Space Agency announced »» UK Space Agency announced

[Thursday, March 25, 2010] A new UK Space Agency will take over responsibility for UK government policy and the key budgets for space, and bring together all UK civil space activities under one single management.

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NASA Study Finds Atlantic 'Conveyor Belt' Not Slowing »» NASA Study Finds Atlantic 'Conveyor Belt' Not Slowing

[Thursday, March 25, 2010] New NASA measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the global ocean conveyor belt that helps regulate climate around the North Atlantic, show no significant slowing over the past 15 years.

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NASA Sets Space Shuttle Discovery STS-131 Launch Date »» NASA Sets Space Shuttle Discovery STS-131 Launch Date

[Friday, March 26, 2010] Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to begin a 13-day flight to the International Space Station with a launch at 6:21 a.m. EDT on April 5 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Space Florida Ready to Partner with Lockheed Martin and ATK on Athena Launches from SLC-46 »» Space Florida Ready to Partner with Lockheed Martin and ATK on Athena Launches from SLC-46

[Friday, March 26, 2010] Space Florida is pleased to announce that it is currently engaged in dialogue with Lockheed Martin and ATK regarding the use of Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral as a key Florida launch location for the next generation of Athena rockets.

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The dawn of a new epoch? Researchers show how world has changed »» The dawn of a new epoch? Researchers show how world has changed

[Friday, March 26, 2010] Geologists from the University of Leicester are among four scientists- including a Nobel prize-winner - who suggest that the Earth has entered a new age of geological time.

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Over the Mojave Desert, Suborbital Vehicles Take Flight »» Over the Mojave Desert, Suborbital Vehicles Take Flight

[Friday, March 26, 2010] Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo and Masten Space Systems' Xombie vehicle both completed milestone test flights recently over the Mojave Desert, another step on the path towards commercial suborbital flights to space.

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Rocket Launched Carrying Student Spacecraft »» Rocket Launched Carrying Student Spacecraft

[Saturday, March 27, 2010] The NASA suborbital Terrier-Improved Malemute was successfully launched on March 27, 2010 at 10:09 a.m. Preliminary reports indicicate the payload performed well.

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Teal Worldwide Mission Model Estimates 2,229 Space Payloads »» Teal Worldwide Mission Model Estimates 2,229 Space Payloads

[Monday, March 29, 2010] Teal Group Corp. announced today it has revised upward its Worldwide Mission Model of future space payloads. According to the Teal survey, there are 2,229 space payloads proposed for launch to earth or lunar orbits or deep space trajectories from 2010-20

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SpaceX Activates New Communication System aboard International Space Station for Control of Upcoming Dragon Spacecraft Visits »» SpaceX Activates New Communication System aboard International Space Station for Control of Upcoming Dragon Spacecraft Visits

[Monday, March 29, 2010] Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces the successful activation of its new Dragon spacecraft communication hardware aboard the International Space Station (ISS) during a series of operations conducted in January and March.

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Review of the Constellation Program’s Request to Discontinue Using the Metric System of Measurement »» Review of the Constellation Program’s Request to Discontinue Using the Metric System of Measurement

[Monday, March 29, 2010] Specifically, we found that the Program's draft request for an exception to using the metric system does not meet the criteria for exceptions under NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 8010.2E.

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High Resolution Temperature Map of Mimas Released »» High Resolution Temperature Map of Mimas Released

[Monday, March 29, 2010] The highest-resolution-yet temperature map and images of Saturn's icy moon Mimas obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal surprising patterns on the surface of the small moon.

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SwRI researchers begin Starfighters suborbital space flight training aboard F-104 aircraft »» SwRI researchers begin Starfighters suborbital space flight training aboard F-104 aircraft

[Monday, March 29, 2010] Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. Dan Durda have begun a new element of spaceflight training with a series of jet fighter flights in F-104 aircraft operated by Starfighters Inc. at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

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Ashes to Ashes, Dust To Dust »» Ashes to Ashes, Dust To Dust

[Monday, March 29, 2010] A new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope shows the dusty remains of a collapsed star.

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Integrating Astrobiology Research at AbSciCon »» Integrating Astrobiology Research at AbSciCon

[Monday, March 29, 2010] The NAI has organized a session entitled "Integrating Astrobiology Research Across and Beyond the Community" at the upcoming 2010 Astrobiology Science Conference in League City, Texas.

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Student innovators need your votes to win the Spirit of Innovation Awards »» Student innovators need your votes to win the Spirit of Innovation Awards

[Monday, March 29, 2010] Online voting for the Spirit of Innovation Awards begins today, Monday, March 29, and ends Friday, April 9. The Spirit of Innovation Awards, challenges high school students to create innovative products using science, technology and entrepreneurship.

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Going Hyperspectral »» Going Hyperspectral

[Tuesday, March 30, 2010] After decades of research and development into hyperspectral imaging the technique has been embraced by the Earth-observation community and has entered the mainstream of remote sensing.

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Exploring the Carina Nebula By Touch »» Exploring the Carina Nebula By Touch

[Tuesday, March 30, 2010] Energetic young stars are sculpting a fantasy landscape of bubbles, valleys, mountains, and pillars. Now this celestial fantasyland has been brought into view for people who cannot explore the image by sight.

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NASA Advisory Council Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense Meeting 15-16 April 2010 »» NASA Advisory Council Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense Meeting 15-16 April 2010

[Tuesday, March 30, 2010] The agenda topics for the meeting will include: Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense Terms of Reference, NASA Near Earth Object (NEO) Program Status, Viewpoints of various scientific organizations on NEO activities, and Ad-Hoc Task Force Planning.

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Square Kilometer Array: The international Radio Telescope for the 21st Century »» Square Kilometer Array: The international Radio Telescope for the 21st Century

[Tuesday, March 30, 2010] On 30 and 31 March a strategic international workshop on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will seek to identify the major economical and societal benefits of large-scale scientific research infrastructure investments.

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NASA Selects Rapid III Contractors for Spacecraft Systems and Services »» NASA Selects Rapid III Contractors for Spacecraft Systems and Services

[Tuesday, March 30, 2010] NASA has awarded contracts to eight aerospace firms for Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition III spacecraft and related services.

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The Sun Comes Back to Life »» The Sun Comes Back to Life

[Tuesday, March 30, 2010] After the most profound lull in solar activity for nearly a century, the Sun is finally coming back to life. But will the solar activity return to previous levels?

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Webb Telescope NIRSpec Instrument Now at Goddard »» Webb Telescope NIRSpec Instrument Now at Goddard

[Tuesday, March 30, 2010] The cosmos is filled with color, and color is a key in determining age, chemical composition and how far objects are from Earth. To help identify these colors and objects the James Webb Space Telescope will be using a spectrograph called NIRSpec.

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